The mission of Lakewood Ranch Gymnastics (LWRG), is to provide the highest quality gymnastic training to all ages and levels of athletes in a safe, positive and stimulating environment, while developing strong, happy young people of good character and good sportsmanship.
While challenging each athlete to progress to his or her individual ability and commitment level, we will strive to help each child grow, not only in his/her physical abilities, but also as people of character, integrity, and sportsmanship, and to become contributing members of society. We will assist our parents in teaching their children to take responsibility for their actions, to think for themselves, to encourage them to act respectfully to their peers and coaches, and to instill a sense of pride in their athletic abilities and accomplishments. It is our goal to provide a program that the whole family can enjoy and spend quality time together in a wholesome environment. We hope to achieve all of this in a way which works in a cohesive manner for everyone involved – the athlete, the parents, and the staff of LWRG.
WHO WE ARE
David and Laura Parraga
Owners David and Laura Parraga both have an extensive background in the gymnastics arena. David is a former Venezuelan National Team member and international caliber-athlete, while Laura is a former competitive gymnast, judge, and professional cheerleader. Up until May of 2012 Laura and David were the optional head coaches at LaFleur’s Gymnastics in Largo for 9 years while living in Manatee County.
Compulsory Team Director
Caroline was born in Sarasota, but raised in Tampa, Florida. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Elementary Education in 2013. Caroline began gymnastics while in elementary school and competed in both compulsory and optional levels. While in high school, Caroline joined an all-star cheerleading team for two years and was also a part of her high school’s varsity cheer team for her senior year. She began coaching gymnastics the summer after she finished high school and has enjoyed every minute of it! Caroline has worked at LWRG since April of 2013. She has coached numerous Level 2, 3 & 4 individual state champions and has coached our Level 2, 3 & 4 teams to many team state titles! Caroline has passed NCSI background checks as well as having been certified through Safe Sport for athlete conduct. She is pediatric and adult CPR certified. She has always loved gymnastics and it is one of her true passions!
When she is not in the gym coaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Chad, and dog, Brady. She loves working out, going to the beach, and watching lots of sports!
Jill was born and raised in Louisville, KY. She was a gymnast and dancer from the ages of 4-14. After competing gymnastics Jill began cheerleading that then led her to college cheerleading at the University of Louisville where she graduated with her Bachelor’s in Health Promotion. Jill began coaching at her childhood gymnastics club while attending college and quickly realized her love and passion for the sport and more importantly the kids involved.
Compulsory and Optional Team Coach
Dali was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida at the age of five. She began gymnastics at the age of eight and fell in love with it immediately. With her instant love for the sport she couldn’t get enough of gymnastics and it soon became a lifestyle. She trained under Laura and David Parraga at Lafleur’s Gymnastics of Largo.
Compulsory Team Coach
Chi H comes to Lakewood Ranch Gymnastics with over 30 years of gymnastics experience. A level 10 competitive gymnast, Chi trained at Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy and went on to earn a full scholarship to Iowa State University under then head coach K.J. Kindler. At Iowa State, Chi was an all-around gymnast, school balance beam record holder, and Academic All Big XII Team member.
Erin began gymnastics at the age of three and competed through high school as a level nine gymnast. She has been coaching for over 19 years, coaching gymnasts of all levels at gyms and camps in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida as well as being a previous gymnastics program director. She has passed NCSI background checks as well as having been certified through Safe Sport for athlete conduct. Erin has a Bachelors Degree in Sports Management from Bowling Green State University, a Masters Degree in Communications from the University of Queensland and she works full time in marketing and advertising for a large nonprofit organization. When not coaching, Erin enjoys spending time with her husband, running, working out and doing anything outside.
Recreational & Team Coach, Xcel Bronze and Silver Director
Sophie has a lifelong love for Gymnastics and started training when she was three years old. She quickly accelerated through the levels finishing her career as a level 9 gymnast in Melbourne, Australia. Her passion is both the competitive aspect and the recreational fun of the sport. She competed as an XCEL at LWRG and began coaching at LWRG at age eighteen. Sophie was born in Ohio and moved to Florida at the age of 7. She also lived abroad in Australia from 2013-2015. Sophie has completed her BS in accounting at The University of South Florida. [/expander_maker]
Recreational and PreTeam Coach
Kara was born in Frederick, MD and was raised in Bradenton, FL. She is currently a sophomore at the State College of Florida. She started gymnastics when she was six years old and competed until she was 12. She moved to California at age 12 and began Allstar cheerleading, which she did for two years. After moving back to Florida, Kara cheered throughout high school and was captain her senior year. Kara enjoys working with our recreational athletes and is has her Safesport Certification for athlete conduct.
Emma grew up in Illinois, and moved to Florida in 2016. She started gymnastics at the age of 3, continuing in the sport until she reached level 9 at the age of 17 and competed at LWRG under Laura & David. Soon after she stopped gymnastics, she started competitive all star cheerleading. Emma graduated from Lakewood Ranch High school in 2021 and attends the University of Miami pursuing a masters degree in chemistry, in hopes of become a pharmacist. Emma found her passion working with kids! She enjoys working with all ages, but her favorite group are the preschool classes!
Shaylen Swenson was raised in San Antonio, Texas, but has lived in Lakewood Ranch for the last 4 years and has loved it since moving here! She is a graduate from Lakewood Ranch High School and is currently completing her junior year of college at the University of South Florida, pursuing a degree in marketing. Shaylen began her gymnastics career at Chow’s Gymnastics as a young child and then went on to compete as a lower level gymnast in Texas until she was 11. She then went on to do competitive cheerleading and dance throughout high school and did not rediscover her love for the sport of gymnastics until she began coaching at LWRG in 2018. Coach Shay has been with LWRG for three years and has experience with coaching pre-school, recreational, and pre-team gymnastics. She also enjoys working our summer camps and getting to have fun with all the kiddos she coaches here at Lakewood Ranch Gymnastics!
Recreational Team Coach, PreTeam Director
Jenna was born and raised in Sarasota, FL.
She started gymnastics at age 8 and started training with the owners, David and Laura, at age 12. Jenna progressed through level 10 and earned a gymnastics scholarship to Texas Woman’s University. During her 4 years at the university, she earned 3 All-American titles on bars and two back-to-back USAG National Championships. Jenna has a bachelors degree in Kinesiology and a minor in business management.
Jenna started coaching recreational gymnastics at age 14. She leads successful pre-teams, level 1 team state championship, and also coaches XCEL Silvers.
Kim was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. She is married to Mike, and they have three children: Marissa, Samantha & Salvatore. All three have been very active in high level sports.
Kim grew up loving the sports of gymnastics and cheerleading, participating in both at the recreational/school levels. She coached a CYO cheer squad while in high school.